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Designing Doubloons!

I developed the idea for Doubloons! during a weekend trip with my family. I picked up Treasure Island in the hotel lobby and read it while visiting Ocean City Maryland's wonderful beaches. It filled my head with all sorts of pirate ideas. I had an idea for a game where I would need to make coins. I really wanted to try and cast some aluminum coins when I got home. I was certain that I could design a game where the coins played a central role and were not just a monetary mechanism.

Concept art

I worked on the games design over the next several weeks. It started with a more complex money system and less interaction, but the more I worked on drawing the cards the more I wanted a light-hearted game to play with friends and family. After a quick brainstorm one evening, I wrote the first draft. I was certain that the game would work and did not even make a simple test prototype. I worked on art and designed the cards before I even played the game for the first time. When I showed up to my weekly gaming group, I had a full-color printed version ready to try. That test went great and everyone agreed that I had achieved what I wanted: a simple to play, fun, pirate themed game.

A sample card

As I was completing the artwork, I felt it a shame that very few people would ever get to see my efforts. I had been through the publishing denial process many times over the years with other designs and did not want this game to suffer the same fate. I decided to publish the game on the Internet and post it to as a print and play title. This was an excellent decision!

For the past few years, the game has always popped up around International Talk Like A Pirate Day and has developed a small following of people. Some took it upon themselves to redesign things and produce some really beautiful artwork. Others sent messages telling me how much they enjoyed the game. It was a wonderful experience that always kept me hopeful. I decided to submit to the only publisher I had in mind. Their initial response was positive, but they needed some time to fit it into their production schedule... about two years time.

Hand made coins

As of September 1st, 2011 I have licensed the game to Gamewright, publishers of award-winning games for kids of all ages. Though I am sad to be retiring my print and play work, this is truly best for the game. I feel that Gamewright's high-quality production will make this game more accessible to those that find print and play difficult. I know from personal experience that making the coins for this game are a difficult task and I can't wait to see what Gamewright will deliver!

Thank you to everyone that joined me on this adventure. I hope it is the first of many!

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- September 21, 2011